As the New Year kicks off the second half of the school year, this also brings about the start of the legislative session in Minnesota. Much has been written and talked about with the Democrat/Farmer/Laborer Party being in control of both houses and the Governor’s office as the legislators start or resume their duties. I believe that a number of educational funding issues will get a look during this session, including some of the proposals made by the governor’s task force that I had written about in an earlier article.
One such proposal has already come out of the Senate in SF2 regarding voluntary funding for all day kindergarten. We have offered all-day kindergarten free of charge for a number of years, while many districts charge a fee for this option. We certainly would support this effort through the legislature.
Speaking of kindergarten, the Board of Education has been discussing the possibility of an addition to the elementary school. Why would we need this? There are a couple of reasons that the board is considering pursuing this plan. The first of these reasons being that adding space to the building would allow us to no longer lease space for pre-school classes and the community education offices. About half the cost of the addition would be paid with no tax increase as the lease cost would be shifted to the bond.
In the addition would be a dedicated music room, which currently resides on the stage area of the gymnasium. While this has been utilized for the life of the building, the design of this is not a very conducive to either the music, nor the physical education classes, as neither should be expected to be quiet during these times so as to not disturb one another.
In the plans is a commons/meeting area that would with a step down amphitheater type area that would seat the students/parents during presentations and performances such as AAA. This would be a wonderful addition to the building. The parking lot at the elementary will also be addressed with separate drop off and pick up zones for busses and parents. A 15-foot wide walkway between the two runs directly to a new front entrance. The new entrance into the building is set up such that anyone entering the building must walk into the reception office in order to gain entry into the building.
Look for us to have some meetings for public input on this possible project in the near future in our communities. Thanks for the continued support of our district. See you in the paper.
Brian Corlett is superintendent of Central Public Schools. Corlett’s Cracker Barrel is a regular feature of The Norwood Young America Times.